Yesterday, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze launched the construction of an ICT Hub at Nakawa. In September this year, Daily Monitor quoted the minister saying that "there is a need for a collective center for innovators if the government is to sufficiently support ICT innovations."
“Someone talked of mentorship and subsidized internet but where do I find you to mentor you or to subsidize internet? That means there must be a common center or we should have these public hubs so that we can come in,” Daily Monitor quoted Hon. Tumwebaze.
Two months down the road, it seems the minister is on the right track to deliver on his word.
During the ceremony, that took place at the Uganda Institute of Information and Communications technology -UICT, several innovations were exhibited. These were by students of UICT. The architectural design was also showcased to the public for the first time.
— Ministry of ICT&NG (@MoICT_Ug) November 8, 2017
Construction will be done by the UPDF engineering brigade and according to Hon. Tumwebaze, it'll deliver the innovation hub in six months time
Hon. Tumwebaze, in his speech, pointed out that "we want to support those ideas that have passed the trial test and have gone to the market." He also added that "we must put innovation hubs where ideas are generated in colleges and universities."
"Government should be willing to buy innovations that are created locally by our innovators," said Hon. Tumwebaze.
However, this has not come with no criticism from the public. Some people are wondering why the government is undertaking a project that many in the private and not-for-profit area have already done. Wondering why they are not in a public-private partnership instead.
TMS Ruge, mid this year, when the idea was first conceived by the government disagreed with it at go. Classifying it as a "me too" project to portray themselves as doing something.
— Frank K Tumwebaze,MP (@FrankTumwebazek) November 8, 2017
While as the government has picked up interest in Innovation recently, one can only hope that this doesn't turn into another ploy for those that are looking for new projects to swindle money.
The event was also attended by Kirunda Kivejinja, the Second Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Col. Engola Okello and Dr. Dorothy Okello. Dr. Okello is the chair-governing Council of UICT, chair ICT Innovations Program of the ICT Innovation Hub, and has worked closely with UCC's ACIA. (See also: UCC excites Twitter users with the announcement of a new national postcode and address system)